Is a built-for-sale house a copyrighted work?
Conclusion: Built-for-sale homes are not copyrighted works.
Article 10, Paragraph 1, Item 5 of the Copyright Act exemplifies architectural works as works.
If so, it seems that built-for-sale houses also fall under the category of architectural works.
There are the following judicial precedents in which it was disputed whether a built-for-sale house was a copyrighted work of architecture.
Grunier Dine Case Osaka High Court 2003 (Ne) No. 3575
A building protected as a "literary work" by the Copyright Act is a product of intellectual and cultural mental activity and is aesthetically pleasing in light of the definition of the copyrighted work stipulated in Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the Act. It is necessary to have creativity in the expression, that is, artistic as a sculptural art, and it should be said that ordinary ordinary buildings do not fall under the "literary works" protected by the law. ..
Even in the case of a general house, not only practicality and functionality (living comfort, usability, economy, etc.) but also aesthetic elements (esthetic factors, etc.) in terms of the overall structure, roof, pillars, walls, windows, entrances, etc. It is usually designed and built with consideration of appearance and appearance), but if the aesthetic creativity that is usually added in the construction of a general house is recognized, "Architectural work" It is considered that giving protection under the Copyright Law by affirming the nature is widely lost in light of the provisions of Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the same law, and is not suitable for the actual situation of housing construction in general society.
In other words, the purpose of the law to protect a building as an "architectural work" is to protect the aesthetic image of the building from theft by imitation architecture, and even ordinary houses are regarded as works. When protected, since ordinary houses have practicality and functionality, subsequent housing construction, especially as in recent years, standardized and in-house manufactured materials are assembled on-site and mass-produced. There is a risk that the construction of built-for-sale houses, etc. will infringe the reproduction right.
Then, it can be said that a general house is an "architectural work" of Article 10, Paragraph 1, Item 5 of the same law, to the extent that it is usually added to the construction of a general house from an objective and external point of view. It surpasses the aesthetic creativity of the building, and apart from its practicality and functionality as a residential building, it becomes an independent object of aesthetic appreciation and makes you feel the cultural spirituality such as the thoughts or feelings of the architect / designer. It is reasonable to understand that it has the artistic quality as a modeling art.
According to the above-mentioned judicial precedent, a general built-for-sale house does not fall under the copyrighted work of architecture.
So what makes an architectural work?
According to the above-mentioned judicial precedent, it can be said that it is an "architectural work", objectively and externally, it exceeds the aesthetic creativity that is usually added in the construction of ordinary houses. Apart from the practicality and functionality of a residential building, it is an object of aesthetic appreciation independently, and the artistry as a plastic art that makes you feel the cultural spirituality such as the thoughts or feelings of architects and designers. It is supposed to be prepared.
If it has the artistic quality of plastic arts, it cannot be recognized as an architectural work unless it has a considerable artistic quality.
For example, Gaudi's building, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, is likely to be recognized as an architectural work because it has considerable artistic quality.
You can get the design right for the building
From April 1, 2020, building and interior designs are newly protected.
Building and interior designs have already been registered.
Since general built-for-sale houses are not protected by copyright, it is advisable to apply for design registration.
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